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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have some questions about reaching ammonia toxicity within plants.

I have a 90g long that is pretty heavily stocked. I do have a fx6 filter but it's essentially just for water movement. It has a custom intake that allows me to have prefilter media pads to prevent the accidental puree of my neocaridinas shrimp. I also have a small media pat in the canister essentially a last resort to protect the motor.

Since I have removed almost all biological filtration the filter has, and it's heavily stocked, I'm curious on ammonia buildup within the plants.

I currently have 0ppm ammonia and 1-2ppm nitrate. Which tells me that the plants aren't nitrogen starved since I still have levels of some nitrates. But I do notice when I remove half the red root floaters I do get minor algae growth for a week or so.

If my plants are reaching their limits of ammonia intake, will I start seeing ammonia in the water as the first sign, or will the plants start showing signs of ammonia toxicity first?

I'm confused on what would cause ammonia toxicity in plants.
Does the ammonia level in the water have to be over a certain PPM?

Or can long periods of time of absorbing all the ammonia out of the water cause ammonia toxicity within the plant?

Here's a picture of my tank just cause I'm proud!

Plant Rectangle Leaf Botany Vegetation

Plants still filling in all available space, and the carpet is just sooo slow growing. Only 3 months old.
 

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I've found that when I thin floating plants, algae tries to make a comeback until the floaters increase in numbers again. It can be hard to balance because more floaters = more excess nutrient absorption but also results in less light reaching the rest of the tank.
You have a beautiful tank so I wouldn't worry too much unless something starts to go seriously wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It can be hard to balance because more floaters = more excess nutrient absorption but also results in less light reaching the rest of the tank.
Yep, with my circulation in the tank, one side of the tank gets almost all the red root floaters. That side of the tank, especially the corners, doesn't get enough lighting and having issues with anything growing.

Already bought 2 chihiros pro2's to replace the Fluval 3.0, but been waiting almost a month now for the ceiling mount adapters to arrive apparently from china.
 

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If my plants are reaching their limits of ammonia intake, will I start seeing ammonia in the water as the first sign, or will the plants start showing signs of ammonia toxicity first?

I'm confused on what would cause ammonia toxicity in plants.
Beautiful tank! Is this an El Natural tank, or does it have CO2 injection?

Plants use the nitrogen atom of ammonia for their protein, DNA, RNA, etc, so they use it and build tissue from it. Thus, as long as plants are growing, they'll be taking up and using that ammonia N. There should not be any buildup within the plant. Ordinarily, the plant is using NH3-N as fast as it takes it up.

Ammonia toxicity comes from sudden big fertilizer doses (5-30 ppm). That's one reason why the fishfood input is such a great fertilizer. It provides plants continuously with small doses of NH3 that the plants can handle. Since plants prefer NH3 and grow better with it, this means of providing N is optimal.

Ammonia is much more toxic to fish than plants, so your fish will die long before it would hurt the plants. This is all discussed in my book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Beautiful tank! Is this an El Natural tank, or does it have CO2 injection?
Thank you, that means a lot coming from you!

El Natural, it has a heater, lights, and a filter (basically an empty shell and only there for water movement).

I have been putting seachem excel as spot treatment for this BBA that keeps growing in the Java moss.

I did vary a little from your recommendations in the book(think it was in your book, might have been one of your posts). Instead of putting an inert substance as a cap, I went with UNS Controsoil as a cap. My hopeful thoughts are that the plants' roots will be extensive enough, along with the mulm/biofilm, to hold it all together once the Controsoil starts to lose its integrity.

I do have sand and tubing ready to add a sand cap to my existing tank. I saw you once talking about how to do it without disturbing the tank.

Ammonia toxicity comes from sudden big fertilizer doses (5-30 ppm). That's one reason why the fishfood input is such a great fertilizer. It provides plants continuously with small doses of NH3 that the plants can handle.
Thanks for the clarification on that.
 

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When ammonia levels ar e too high the roots of the plant are damaged which may prevent the plant from absorbing ny nutrients or the plant dies.

Assuming the ammonia levels is safely below the toxicity level, the amount of ammonia a plant can consume is largely deteremined by the amount of the other 13 nutrients a plant needs to grow. If a plant is just short on one nutrient plant growth will stop and the plant will stop consuming nutrients including nitrogen from nitrate, ammonia, urea, or ammino acids in the water.

But even if plant growth stops due to nutrient deficiency ammonia levels may still drop due to algae and bacterial growth.
 

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So I have some questions about reaching ammonia toxicity within plants.

I have a 90g long that is pretty heavily stocked. I do have a fx6 filter but it's essentially just for water movement. It has a custom intake that allows me to have prefilter media pads to prevent the accidental puree of my neocaridinas shrimp. I also have a small media pat in the canister essentially a last resort to protect the motor.

Since I have removed almost all biological filtration the filter has, and it's heavily stocked, I'm curious on ammonia buildup within the plants.

I currently have 0ppm ammonia and 1-2ppm nitrate. Which tells me that the plants aren't nitrogen starved since I still have levels of some nitrates. But I do notice when I remove half the red root floaters I do get minor algae growth for a week or so.

If my plants are reaching their limits of ammonia intake, will I start seeing ammonia in the water as the first sign, or will the plants start showing signs of ammonia toxicity first?

I'm confused on what would cause ammonia toxicity in plants.
Does the ammonia level in the water have to be over a certain PPM?

Or can long periods of time of absorbing all the ammonia out of the water cause ammonia toxicity within the plant?

Here's a picture of my tank just cause I'm proud!

View attachment 76317
Plants still filling in all available space, and the carpet is just sooo slow growing. Only 3 months old.
Great looking tank!
 

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So I have some questions about reaching ammonia toxicity within plants.

I have a 90g long that is pretty heavily stocked. I do have a fx6 filter but it's essentially just for water movement. It has a custom intake that allows me to have prefilter media pads to prevent the accidental puree of my neocaridinas shrimp. I also have a small media pat in the canister essentially a last resort to protect the motor.

Since I have removed almost all biological filtration the filter has, and it's heavily stocked, I'm curious on ammonia buildup within the plants.

I currently have 0ppm ammonia and 1-2ppm nitrate. Which tells me that the plants aren't nitrogen starved since I still have levels of some nitrates. But I do notice when I remove half the red root floaters I do get minor algae growth for a week or so.

If my plants are reaching their limits of ammonia intake, will I start seeing ammonia in the water as the first sign, or will the plants start showing signs of ammonia toxicity first?

I'm confused on what would cause ammonia toxicity in plants.
Does the ammonia level in the water have to be over a certain PPM?

Or can long periods of time of absorbing all the ammonia out of the water cause ammonia toxicity within the plant?

Here's a picture of my tank just cause I'm proud!

View attachment 76317
Plants still filling in all available space, and the carpet is just sooo slow growing. Only 3 months old.
This looks amazing!!

The answer to your questions really depend on the species of plants you have in your tank and the rate of ammonia production. Some species of plants are more tolerant to ammonia than others, so the exact tolerance levels of ammonia for your particular species of plants will vary. Generally speaking, however, any amount of ammonia in the water above 0ppm can be toxic to plants, although some species may be able to tolerate higher levels than others. As far as what causes ammonia toxicity in plants, it is usually the result of the plant absorbing more ammonia than it can process, either due to an overload of ammonia in the water or because the plant is nitrogen-starved and is forced to absorb more ammonia than it can process. In either case, the result is typically an accumulation of ammonia in the plant tissue, which can lead to poor growth and/or death of the plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Generally speaking, however, any amount of ammonia in the water above 0ppm can be toxic to plants, although some species may be able to tolerate higher levels than others. As far as what causes ammonia toxicity in plants, it is usually the result of the plant absorbing more ammonia than it can process, either due to an overload of ammonia in the water or because the plant is nitrogen-starved and is forced to absorb more ammonia than it can process. In either case, the result is typically an accumulation of ammonia in the plant tissue, which can lead to poor growth and/or death of the plant.
I have 0PPM of ammonia. My fear was that since I have almost no biological filter that the plants would over absorb the ammonia prior to the levels raising in testing. But from my interpretation of Diana's response I would need to have levels above 5ppm in the water prior to any issues.

I just wanted to be safe, didn't want to have a cascading affect where plants start having issues then stop growing and suddenly the tank would have no biological filtration.

If I saw nitrates rising I could presume that any excess ammonia is being converted, but I only started getting nitrates once I dosed with ferts to test if it was a deficiency in a nutrient as to why my red root floaters were bright green.
 

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"m" is almost certainly not a person. Instead it is a pseudonym for a CHatGPT, a type of artificial intelligence algorithm that can imitate the prose style of any author.

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